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Opportunity to Shine

We were taking our 20-year-old daughter to lunch before taking her to the airport to catch an international flight to the UK, where she will be spending a semester abroad.  On the way out the door, she dropped her phone and shattered the screen. We immediately went to the phone store where we knew they could replace the phone.  We approached the manager and explained the situation.  She told us a technician would have to look at the phone, but they wouldn’t be able to schedule us in until later in the day.  By then it would be too late.  We asked why a technician had to look at the phone and suggested the manager look at the phone to see that the glass was shattered. Either way, the phone had to be replaced.  This seemed logical to us, but the manager insisted that the technician confirm the phone didn’t have any other damage.  The manager suggested we go to another store, where she made an appointment for us.  The big problem was that we were cutting it a bit too close for comfort, but we had no choice.  Frustrated, we left for the other store. In between stores, I called the customer service number and explained our problem.  The gentleman on the phone was surprised the manager didn’t take care of my daughter.  He called the store we were going to and spoke to the manager, who said to find him immediately and he would take care of my daughter.  And, true to his word, she was.  It took less than ten minutes and she had a new phone. The manager at the first store blew it.  She could have been a customer service hero.  Even though the manager at the other store came through for us, what will my experience be next time? Inconsistency destroys confidence.  Worse than that, the fact that the first manager dug her heels into the ground and refused to budge was truly a lost opportunity.  She had no idea who she was dealing with until I told her.  She didn’t look up our account or she would have seen we have five phones we have bought from her company, not to mention the many phones we had bought over the years.  My monthly bill, multiplied by twelve months might have made her realize that this was a higher level customer.  Or multiply the bill by 24 months, which is how long our phones are under contract.  We are worth thousands of dollars to the company, but she refused to take care of us, even though we had an emergency. Here’s the lesson: Don’t blow the opportunity to be a hero.  For example, we’ve had clients call us panicking because a speaker canceled at the last minute, asking if I can fill in.  I’ve always helped if I was available or at least suggested someone else if I wasn’t.  The last time this happened the client’s budget was much less than my fee, but it didn’t matter.  I was available and the client needed help.  That day I was a hero. What are your opportunities to shine?  They don’t always have to be centered on problems or emergencies.  Sometimes, all it takes is giving someone a little extra time or giving a little extra effort to be that hero. Look!  Up in the air!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No… It’s just you being a customer service hero, doing “right” by your customer! Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXIII, Shep Hyken)

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